Cowboys Expected to Make ‘Immediate’ Call if $48 Million RB Is Cut

It is a longshot, but the potential for a lucky break is looming for the Cowboys—if things don’t go the right way for the team that vanquished them in the playoffs, that is, the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have not made known any decisions on the future of running back Aaron Jones, whom the team is trying to get to take a pay cut for the second straight year. If they can’t, the cap-strapped Packers might be forced to waive Jones.

Packers restructure Aaron Jones' contract to get salary cap relief

And that would be a huge opportunity for the Cowboys, the ability to pick up a juggernaut of a running back who closed last season strong and could be had at a low price as he seeks to prove his value. There’s some risk for the Cowboys, or whichever team would subsequently sign Jones if the impasse with the Packers results in a waiver. But the upside is too good to pass up.

As the Washington Post’s NFL insider, Jason La Canfora, wrote in exploring the situation: “If Jones is cut, I would expect him to get immediate calls from Baltimore and Dallas, among others.”

Aaron Jones Surged Late in 2023

Going to the Cowboys would have to be especially sweet for Jones if he feels that the Packers are shorting him on his paycheck. Jones is in the final year of a four-year, $48 million contract that is slated to pay him $12 million this year. He accepted a $5 million pay cut last year and it would be understandable if he felt he did not need to give back more this year.

But at Spotrac, his market value right now is at $5.1 million per year. No doubt, Jones is overpaid relative to his output, which has been affected by healthy. Jones was not 100% for much of the season and missed six games, finishing with 656 yards on 142 carries.

When he was healthy, though, Jones was dynamic. He averaged 119.3 yards in Weeks 16-18 for Green Bay and carried that productivity into the postseason, as Cowboys fans surely remember. Jones rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers’ opening-round win over the Cowboys in the playoffs. He added 108 yards in the Packers’ second-round loss to the 49ers.

Those should be taken as clear indications that Jones still ranks among the best in the NFL—when healthy.

Cowboys Monitoring RB Market

It could be that the Packers recognize that, too, and ultimately come to a compromise with Jones on a reworked contract. But if they don’t, they’re suddenly at the center of a very open running-back market, one in which the Cowboys have a great interest. Dallas running back Tony Pollard is a free agent, and the Cowboys could seek to replace him.

Wrote La Canfora:

“And the Packers, with an emerging franchise quarterback still making peanuts on a rookie deal, could be the wild card in all of this. Jones has not been durable — Green Bay paid him close to $11 million last season for just 142 carries and two touchdowns. He has earned more than $30 million from Green Bay, and that franchise is adamant about being balanced offensively as quarterback Jordan Love enters his second full season as a starter.

“Chances are it can find a new every-down back for far less per year than Jones’s 2024 cost of $12 million.”

If the Packers decide that saving money at running back is more important than keeping Jones around, the Cowboys should have their speed dial ready.

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